People tend to criticize each other for a hundred different reasons: some blame others for the things they themselves cannot afford, while others are trying to keep the usual course of things, not allowing deviations. On the contrary, a number of people are trying to improve themselves, others and the world around them. But what if the criticism hurts you personally?
Why Is It So Tough to Take Critics?
The list of claims can be endless, and it is difficult to penetrate the mind of another person. It is hardly worth spending time and effort trying to understand the motivations of various critics. But if the criticism hurts you personally, do you wonder why it happens? What makes it particularly offensive? What arouses feelings? Whose words hurt most?
How Do You React to Critics?
If you are offended by the comments of a stranger on public transport, you should pay attention to your personal boundaries: why is the distance between you and the stranger so short that you should be hurt by his poisonous remarks? On the contrary, the criticism that comes from a close friend or a beloved one can upset almost everyone.
What’s Behind Your Reaction?
However, when we talk about criticism we should distinguish between trivial insults and constructive comments. We must admit there is a difference between the statements “You are a disgusting cook” and “Your soup seems to be a little too salty today.” If you are insulted by unjustified criticism that is not connected with any specific subject matter and your personality in general – feel free to defend! If you feel hurt, strongly ashamed or guilty because of the reasonable comment, it can be your usual way of responding to criticism, probably developed when you were a child. Guilt often indicates the fear of losing respect and love of a dear person, shame indicates the fear of losing reputation and feeling not good enough.
How to Take Critics Correctly?
Whatever it is, if you are hurt by the interlocutor’s criticism, do not rush to react to it automatically, following the usual pattern of behaviour – raising your voice or feeling hurt and confined to yourself. Take a pause, remember the feeling which you feel uncomfortable to encounter with, accept the responsibility and experience it, without blaming your partner for anything (“It is me who feels ashamed/guilty/afraid…”).
Don’t Take It Too Personally
Try to understand the purpose of criticism (maybe, the interlocutor wants to offend you or motivate you to improve your work).
Think about anything good that you can learn from criticism.
Agree with the criticism or part of it (at least internally).
Give thanks for the criticism because many things are more visible from aside.
Try to change, listening to constructive criticism.